The importance of following a good diet cannot be underestimated. But often the diet plans which are suggested for weight loss are not based on sound nutritional principles and can be impractical and misleading.
There are some basic principles of weight loss that need to be followed alongside good nutrition tips. Doing regular workouts by enrolling for fat loss training programs in a gym is also equally important.
Let us begin by trying to figure out how many calories are burned by our body in a typical day:
How many Calories Do I Need?
The number of calories needed in our daily life is different for different individuals as each of us has a unique composition. The number of calories used by your body depends on your size, age, weight and also the level of activity you undertake in a day. The total number of calories that you burn in a day is known as your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). There are several calculators that you can find on the internet that will help you to calculate your TDEE.
You may have to input your statistics to use the calculator, and select ‘fat loss’ as your goal. You will be asked to select an activity level which matches how active you are throughout any given day. Selecting a higher activity level means that the calculator will suggest a higher calorie intake for you in a day. It is important to be honest when you are using the calculator as consuming more calories in a day than you are supposed to will result in you gaining weight instead of losing it.
When you find out the number of calories that you should be consuming in a day, you can proceed to figuring out what types of foods you need to eat to take in those calories. Getting in touch with a nutritionist or reputable personal trainer, can help you figure out those numbers, get the right meal plans designed for weight loss, and workouts to help you stay strong.
What are your Macros?
Weight loss programs that combine the right amount and kind of exercise with a good meal plan are the ones that are most likely to be successful. It can be intimidating to come up with a meal plan yourself, which is why it is advised that you should get in touch with a specialist.
Many of us have grown up eating unhealthy foods and without adequate education and training in how to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Nutrition panels were not printed on the labels of foods until relatively recently, and as a result many people are unaware of which foods contain which set of macronutrients.
The human body mostly consists of water. The next most abundant element that can be found in our body is protein. Protein is needed in the body to perform thousands of functions on a daily basis which are crucial to our overall health. Protein is broken down into different combinations of amino acids by our body which are also known as the building blocks of protein.
The preferred form of fuel for the energy requirements of our body are carbohydrates. When we need fast energy, sugary or simple carbs are needed. However, for the most part, slow burning or complex carbs should be consumed. The thing that you need to remember about carbohydrates is that any carbs which are left in the body after the body has used the carbohydrates that it needs, gets converted into body fat.
Contrary to popular belief that fats are our number one enemy, body fat too has many purposes. Fat tissues have energy stored in them which keeps us insulated from low and high temperatures. They are also responsible for protecting our vital organs. But not every type of fat is good for our body, as there are bad types of body fat too. Trans fat and saturated fat are the two types of fat which most of us consume in high quantities. We need fats nonetheless and we need more of the right ones.
On days when you know that your activity level is going to be high, you should consume more carbohydrates than you usually do. If you wish to lose fat faster, you must work out on an empty stomach on days when you do cardio exercises like biking or running.
A good way to get the macronutrients you need the most after you have been working out regularly is to include protein shakes in your diet. Although it is advisable to get your macros from whole foods.
The following are some good sources of protein:
- Chicken without skin
- Lean red meat
- Low fat dairy
There are many other foods which contain a good amount of protein too, such as whole eggs. You should avoid consumption of meats high in fat, processed meats and full fat dairy.
The ability of a food to elevate sugar levels in the blood is known as the glycemic index (GI) of the food. The best carbs have a low glycemic index.
The following are good sources of carbohydrates, with a low glycemic index:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain products
- Veggies (fibrous carbs)
Carbs that you must avoid at all costs
- White flour
- High sugar foods
Many people are under the impression that in order to lose fat, they need to cut out every scrap of fat in their diet. But fat is needed to give your body the nutrients that it requires and to prevent you from feeling hungry between meals.
Examples of good fats include:
- Low-fat cheeses
- Cold-water fish
- Sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
- Safflower oil (in moderation)
- Canola oil
Fats that you must avoid at all costs:
- High fat dairy
- High fat meats
- Deep fried foods
- High fat salad dressings
The basic idea when it comes to losing weight is that the number of calories consumed should be lower than the number of calories lost in a day. It sounds overly simple in a world of complicated and conflicting diet plans, but it really is the best and most effective fat loss plan of all.